people with lines between them depicting how they are connected to each other

The REACH Lab (Research on Ethics, Aging, and Community Health) is dedicated to understanding how inequalities in social networks and social support affect health disparities and health care decision-making.

Our lab incorporates multidisciplinary approaches to better understand the social mechanisms underlying health disparities, with the goals of improving patient-centered decision-making at the individual level, and informing health policies at the population level.

Our research partners include patients, families, clinicians, community-members, patient advocates, community organizations, health care centers, academics, and policy makers.

Ethical analysis has become an increasingly integral part of health policy and public health. At the core of many health policy and medical debates lie questions of distributive justice, fairness, and transparency. Our research is at the intersection of ethics, health policy, and social science. At REACH, our research addresses the questions:

  1. How can we design health policies that allocate scarce health resources fairly?
  2. How do social networks affect medical decision-making?
  3. How can we design ethical health policy taking into account disparities in social networks and social capital?
  4. How can we improve patient-centeredness of medical decision made in high acuity situations?

The REACH Lab is a multi-disciplinary collaboration that uses quantitative, qualitative, and normative approaches to study the impact of social networks and social support on health and well-being, and access to services.

Our research has implications for understanding how social factors affect the development of illness and disability, as well as how they can promote and facilitate recovery and well-being. It also has implications for better understanding medical decision-making among patients, their social networks, and their providers, ultimately informing ethical clinical and policy interventions to enhance the treatment and quality of life among vulnerable patients.